For a lot of medical students, each step on the road from undergrad to graduate school requires a massive amount of discipline and dedication to ensure one’s best chances at getting into the profession of their dreams.
When one looks at the sheer number of hours, extra-curriculars, and resume points required of a student thinking of pursuing medicine, it is no surprise that, according to theTab, medicine/pre-med is the most stressful major in the US today.
But that stress serves a purpose. This schooling equips people to save lives, to research life-saving treatments, and to provide financially for themselves and their loved ones.
It is a lot of work, but work well spent. But the fact remains: students of medicine have a lot on their plate.
As such, the last thing they need on top of these many stressors is the stress brought by the financial burden of medical school.
For some, medical school can cost roughly $200,000 in total. One shouldn’t have to be straddled with debt for seeking to provide the necessary social good of medical care.
Luckily, there are resources that can help prospective medical students mitigate these tuition costs. Although scholarship and grant competitions are competitive, for so many medical students, they can make a massive difference.
As such, in this article we will be breaking down—in no particular order—the 10 best medical school scholarships.
In compiling this list, attention was given to the amount each scholarship provides a student and the amount of students who might be eligible for the scholarship.
As such, scholarships with higher dollar amounts that are available to a larger pool of students irrespective of their location or medical specialty were given priority in this ranking.
Medical school is difficult, but worth it. But when it comes to the dollar amount it might cost you, any one of these scholarships may be an excellent way to allow you to focus on your medical training, not your medical tuition.
Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship is eligible to undergraduate seniors who plan to enroll in a graduate school during the subsequent academic year.
Any student pursuing a career in healthcare is eligible to apply.
Each year, ten $10,000 scholarships are awarded to students, and twenty-five $5,000 scholarships are awarded.
Only United States residents are eligible to apply.
To apply for this scholarship, students will be judged on their degree of community involvement as demonstrated on their resume, their GPA, and on a supplemental essay. The topic of this supplemental essay varies from year to year.
If a student is selected for this scholarship, they will join a network of Tylenol Future Care Scholarship winners. Some notable alumni of the scholarship can be found here.
National Medical Fellowships
The following scholarship opportunity is not just one potential funding source, but several.
The National Medical Fellowships foundation was founded in 1940, and for almost 100 years has been providing medical students with the vital funding necessary to pursue a career in medicine.
With over 51 medical school scholarships listed on their website, hundreds of medical students have used this reputable resource to begin their careers in medicine.
This scholarship opportunity is eligible to any US citizen who is enrolled in an accredited medical school.
Although each individual scholarship offered by NMF will have individual requirements, in general, two letters of recommendation, a CV, and a scholarship essay tend to be required for each opportunity.
National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program will cover all tuition and fees for up to four years of medical school.
In exchange, students commit to providing medical care in a health professional shortage area. The criteria for what the NHSC designates as a health professional shortage area can be found on their website.
Correctional facilities, certain tribal territories, and highly rural environments are some examples of health professional shortage areas listed on the NHSC’s website.
The total number of years one must spend in their service term will depend on the number of tuition-years for which a student received a full-tuition scholarship from the NHSC.
The number of years one receives the scholarship and the number of years one must spend in service will not exceed four years in either scenario.
Only U.S. citizens or nationals are eligible to apply.
Physicians of Tomorrow
The Physicians of Tomorrow scholarship provides up to $10,000 in tuition assistance to students approaching their final year in medical school.
This scholarship is funded by the American Medical Association foundation. The AMA foundation has provided medical students with over $61,000,000 in scholarships and grants since its founding in 1950.
Alongside their general Physicians of Tomorrow scholarship, the AMA foundation also provides over 10 other tuition-assistance awards which are more specific in nature regarding who all may qualify to apply for them.
In general, students must be U.S. residents, be in their final year of medical school, and students must receive a nomination from the dean’s office of their medical school in order to apply for any of the AMA’s scholarships.
The White Coat Investor Medical School Scholarship 2021
Each year, the White Coat Investor hosts a scholarship competition for students currently enrolled in a medical graduate degree program.
The exact scholarship amount will vary from year to year, as the White Coat Investor funds this scholarship through donations from a variety of donors.
Depending on the amount of funding the White Coat Investor receives, the rules of that year’s scholarship are subject to change.
In recent years, for example, there were ten scholarship winners who each received roughly $10,000 each. To provide an alternate example, in the year 2020, there were five $12,000 scholarship winners and five $2,000 scholarship winners.
In order to apply, students must be enrolled in a medical school located in the United States, but the WCI does not specify if a student must be a US resident to apply.
Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund
Although the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann scholarship is open to just about any graduate student, its tuition assistance and prestige will nevertheless draw the eye of a large number of medical students.
With this scholarship providing full tuition coverage and a living stipend totaling $18,000 a year, medical students have often turned to the Liebmann scholarship as a means of not only funding medical school, but also earning the ability to focus solely on one’s studies as opposed to funding one’s living expenses.
In order to apply, students must receive a nomination from the dean of one’s medical school. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.
MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship
The MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship is intended for international students and DACA students studying in an accredited college or university in the U.S. or Canada.
As such, a variety of medical students have utilized this scholarship in the past to aid with the cost of medical school.
The grand-prize winner receives $10,000 in tuition assistance, while the runner-up and honorable mention both receive $2,000.
MPOWER intentionally designed this scholarship to be as broad as possible so that any international student might have access to it, regardless of their nation of origin or degree program.
As such, the MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship will be an appealing option for a variety of international and DACA students.
The Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship
The Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship is a scholarship program eligible for medical school students in their third year of study.
Each year, the Association of American Medical colleges awards five scholarships of $5,000 a piece to 5 different medical school students.
This scholarship is specifically intended for those medical students who have contributed substantially to combating inequality in medicine.
In particular, the Nickens scholarship looks for candidates who have demonstrated leadership in providing for the health needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for this scholarship.
Pisacano Scholars Leadership Program
For students studying family medicine, the Pisacano Scholars leadership program provides a scholarship with a value totaling $28,000.
This $28,000, however, can only be applied to debt reimbursement, meaning that students will have to have student loans in order to take advantage of the scholarship’s funding.
This scholarship, which students can apply for during their third year of medical school, also gives them access to various leadership development programs and internship opportunities.
For example, scholars selected for the Pisacano program will have the chance to spend 4-8 weeks at the The Robert Graham Center, where they can research and advise for public policy relevant to family medicine.
This list truly wouldn’t be complete without calling attending to the vast amount of institutional scholarships of which hopeful medical students can take advantage.
Depending on one’s medical school, there may be a plethora of scholarships available, many of them paying full tuition.
Some schools, such as NYU, Cornell, or Columbia, have it so that any student that demonstrates financial need will either pay no tuition or have their student loans paid off for them by the medical school.
Even if it is the case that some students pay tuition at one’s medical school of choice, many schools have scholarship programs that assure, at the very least, most students do not pay an exorbitant amount for medical school.
The University of Pennsylvania, for example, offers 25 full tuition scholarships.
As such, students are advised to browse national opportunities, but also institutional opportunities, as these can be just as far-reaching in scope and can provide just as much in the way of tuition relief.